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Struggling for One's Name: Defense Narratives by those Accused of Small-Time Corruption

Åkerström, Malin LU ; Wästerfors, David LU and Jacobsson, Katarina LU (2016) In Sociological Focus 49(2). p.148-162
Abstract
Under scrutiny (what we term a “bribery gaze”), many interpersonal exchanges in work contexts are perceived as bribes rather than gifts, tokens of appreciation, or mundane favors. Current Swedish bribery laws are strong, and the media keep a vigilant eye out for suspicious activities. From a wide set of qualitative data, we selected 13 interviews with formally-accused middle managers and low-level officials in Sweden who claimed to be innocent of small corruption. We discovered that they were more concerned with defending their honor than with job losses, material losses, or legal repercussions. The interviewees used a contrast structure: While they defined the humiliating accusations and disproportionate measures as turning points, they... (More)
Under scrutiny (what we term a “bribery gaze”), many interpersonal exchanges in work contexts are perceived as bribes rather than gifts, tokens of appreciation, or mundane favors. Current Swedish bribery laws are strong, and the media keep a vigilant eye out for suspicious activities. From a wide set of qualitative data, we selected 13 interviews with formally-accused middle managers and low-level officials in Sweden who claimed to be innocent of small corruption. We discovered that they were more concerned with defending their honor than with job losses, material losses, or legal repercussions. The interviewees used a contrast structure: While they defined the humiliating accusations and disproportionate measures as turning points, they narrated their moral struggles and claimed their innocence by retelling significant events. These personal narratives from those accused of corruption showed that honor remains very important in contemporary society. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Honor, Corruption, Accusation, Narratives, Defense
in
Sociological Focus
volume
49
issue
2
pages
148 - 162
publisher
Routledge Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84962689522
ISSN
0038-0237
DOI
10.1080/00380237.2016.1109426
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
086f8669-6325-4165-8c7e-64f4a544a916 (old id 8830614)
date added to LUP
2016-03-02 09:25:03
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:57:04
@article{086f8669-6325-4165-8c7e-64f4a544a916,
  abstract     = {Under scrutiny (what we term a “bribery gaze”), many interpersonal exchanges in work contexts are perceived as bribes rather than gifts, tokens of appreciation, or mundane favors. Current Swedish bribery laws are strong, and the media keep a vigilant eye out for suspicious activities. From a wide set of qualitative data, we selected 13 interviews with formally-accused middle managers and low-level officials in Sweden who claimed to be innocent of small corruption. We discovered that they were more concerned with defending their honor than with job losses, material losses, or legal repercussions. The interviewees used a contrast structure: While they defined the humiliating accusations and disproportionate measures as turning points, they narrated their moral struggles and claimed their innocence by retelling significant events. These personal narratives from those accused of corruption showed that honor remains very important in contemporary society.},
  author       = {Åkerström, Malin and Wästerfors, David and Jacobsson, Katarina},
  issn         = {0038-0237},
  keyword      = {Honor,Corruption,Accusation,Narratives,Defense},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {148--162},
  publisher    = {Routledge Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Sociological Focus},
  title        = {Struggling for One's Name: Defense Narratives by those Accused of Small-Time Corruption},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00380237.2016.1109426},
  volume       = {49},
  year         = {2016},
}